Discovering the Graphic Novel

Guess what, guys. I have discovered something. It's something that's been around forever, but it's taken me a long time to get around to it:

Graphic Novels.

I have a friend who LOVES to read graphic novels, and she's been letting me borrow some of hers. I LOVE THEM! So far I've read The Five Fists of Science, Green Arrow: Year One, and I'm partway through Watchmen (which so far is pretty okay in terms of "graphic" content).

BUT I NEED MORE! Since this territory is unfamiliar to me, I'd love it if any of you have any suggestions on what to read. So far I've only read sci-fi/super-hero GNs, but I don't know if that's all that I like. So suggest any and all things!

Keep in mind that I cannot read manga. As in, I literally can't. I've tried the whole "reading backwards" thing and I always end up getting jumbled. I wish I could read manga because I love anime, but... my brain doesn't work that way.

So I'm begging you:

Please suggest some great graphic novels! And if you can, would you describe them in just a sentence or two so I can see what grabs my attention? I will love you forever!

Thank you, squeakers and friends!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012


  1. Graphic novels are great! Too bad you don't like manga because there are some really good ones out there.

    Flash: Rebirth, it is sooo good.

    Some of my favorites:
    Clubbing by Andi Watson
    Confessions of a Blabbermouth
    Good as Lily
    Huntress: Year One

    Sorry about all the recs, I just have a lot that I want to share. =)

  2. I do LIKE manga, I just don't know how to read it! I wish I could.

  3. I have lots of suggestions. First off, I am giving away a copy of graphic novel-Kmart Shoes on my blog and it is a autobiography. Super good. Persepolis one and two are awesome. There is even a movie. I loved Maus 1 and Maus 11. Excellent. I would recommend Blankets as well. They have also started making classic novels into graphic novels. Fahrenheit 451 is great in graphic format. Have fun finding these amazing books!

  4. Most of my favorite graphic novels are MG, because the ones written for older readers tend to get very violent and/or sexual very quickly. This is definitely something to be careful of when you're picking up graphic novels from a library shelf without any prior knowledge of the content (something I have done many times, and more than once had to put the book down).

    As for "squeaky" graphic novels, I'd recommend:
    Bone, by Jeff Smith (The full volume is really long, but SO worth it. Or you could read it in separate volumes, which are a little easier to digest.)
    Amulet (series), by Kazu Kibuishi
    Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
    And of course, Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack, the best of the best.

    Pica @ Pica Reads

  5. I love Marvel universe in general. Ultimate Spider-Man is one of my favorites since you don't have to know any back story and it's cleaner because Peter is still in high school. Marvel Civil War I also found fascinating. I've enjoyed best of collections a lot, and old Superman comics, but the newer ones not as much.

  6. The Runaways
    book one is called Pride and Joy

  7. The Good Neighbors by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh- "Masterful storytelling creates a mysterious, darkly beautiful world in this astonishing graphic novel series about the adventures of Rue, whose mother is a faerie who has vanished into the faerie world. Rue must fight sinister forces to get her mother back, while learning about her own identity and where she fits in."
    Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale-
    Hope you find something you like.

  8. I haven't read very many. Just the Rapunzel's Revenge books, and I've also read the graphic novel version of Benjamin Button. But my library have been stocking up on this genre, and so I know that they have made classics into graphic novels too. Anne Frank, Moby Dick (my library even has a pop-up book for this in the YA room.) So this must be the next big thing in books.

  9. "Smile" by Raina Telgemeier is a great graphic novel for tweens. It's an autobiography of sorts about the illustrator and how all of the crazy dental work she went through as a tween/teen greatly affected that time of her life. It's actually really funny!

    She has a new one coming out soon called "Drama", which looks like it's about school theater, which looks great.

  10. Oh! And I loved "Robot Dreams" which is a wordless graphic novel that's surprisingly full of emotion. Good stuff.

  11. The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Wordless graphic novel about a migrant father trying to adjust to his new surroundings while trying to be reunited with his family. AMAZING.

    I second Fahrenheit 451 in graphic format, especially if you liked the book. The treatment of it was stylized, but very well done. I loved it.

    Flight vol. 1-8, edited by Kazu Kibuishi. Short stories by different artists. Fantastic. There is a spectrum on these though, but the vast majority are "squeaky" :)

    I'll wait till you read some of these to get a better feel for what you like best. :)

  12. I want to second the recommendation for "Runaways." It's written by Brian K. Vaughan, who is my top favorite comic writer and I'll buy his books for life. "Runaways" has three series, but in my opinion they get progressively worse after Vaughan leaves the title near the end of the second series.

    "Y: The Last Man" is Vaughan's most famous/iconic title. It's the story a post-apocalyptic world in which a plague kills off everyone with a Y chromosome, except for a young man named Yorick Brown and his pet monkey. It's absolutely brilliant. The writing, the characters, the plotting is all amazing. Though be warned it does contain swearing and some adult content. Anything from the Vertigo imprint of DC is meant for mature readers.

    I can't believe that no one has recommended "Fables" by Bill Willingham yet! It's a bit like the TV show "Once Upon a Time," wherein fairy tale characters have been exiled to modern day New York. I quit this title around issue #50, but some of the early stuff is great, as are the spin-offs. This is another Vertigo imprint, so not only does it have swearing, it also has some graphic violence. (Actually one of the reasons I quit this title was because I was fed up with the writer making fairy tale characters swear unnecessarily just for shock value.)

    Sorry, that was more than a sentence or two! I better stop now. :)

  13. Oh, I just thought of one more!

    I know you are a "Sailor Moon" fan, so I know you'll love "Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld." It's a series from the 80's that absolutely no one seems to remember. It follows a thirteen-year-old girl named Amy who is actually a princess from a magical world. Also, there's a flying unicorn.

    This comic series wasn't collected until just a few weeks ago! It's been a long time coming for Princess Amethyst.


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